Jeff Harry’s Fun Joy Play Index 2021

Jeff Harry play coach playing with ribbons
Jeff Harry, whose energy and passion inspires you to play, have fun and see life in a new way.

FROM STACEY: A big part of an adventurous attitude is learning how to play & have fun in life. Enter Jeff Harry, a play coach, whose goal is to teach adults how to play, and sees adventure as part of that! In my quest to share with you different perspectives on year-end-reviews of a crazy 2020, I would like to share a column he wrote. I first learned about Jeff from his interview on the podcast “Playgrounding.” Jeff introduced me to Laughter Yoga! Discovering his Fun, Joy, Play Index was inspiring. It is with great pleasure for me to share his FJPI with you!


FJP Index 2021

Comic about 2021

Every year around this time, there is discussion around resolutions.  

How can we even think about coming up with any resolutions for 2021, after the year we had in 2020?  Is it even worth thinking about what to look forward to especially in this new normal where there is so much uncertainty?

I say it is more important now than ever to embrace hope amongst all the chaos thrown at us in 2020.

When my dad passed away back in 2015, his brothers who had not seen each other in over 30 years, all showed up.  I was full of grief and sadness. Also, being surrounded by so much family, I felt gratitude, support, love, and joy.  I thought, how could I feel these positive feelings in the midst of tragedy?  Shouldn’t I feel guilty for feeling these positive emotions. Then I realized that I can feel all the emotions at the same time.  Joy and grief, sadness and gratitude.  Just like in Pixar’s Inside Out, emotions are complicated and we must embrace all of them and allow them to flow through us in order to truly experience life.

Challenge the Usual Resolution

Two years ago, I chose to challenge the antiquated BS resolution plan.  Most new year’s resolutions last only till January 12th before people end up giving up.  So, I asked myself, “why not create something new that both allows you to savor the current year, while exploring the possibilities of the upcoming year.  

So, I created the Fun, Joy, Play (FJP) Index.

It asks us to embrace our favorite fun, joy play moments of the previous year, savoring those moments, and thinking of what type of moments we want to create in the upcoming year.  It seemed like a fun and inspiring exercise that spoke more to the soul.

So, in the face of such loss and tragedy, where many people went through major change and personal growth, the Fun, Joy, Play Index can play a vital role in helping you reflect on 2020 with a new perspective. Then, you can embrace the uncertainty of 2021 with hope and anticipation.

I Challenge You

“If you don’t prioritize adventure, if you don’t prioritize newness, you get a calendar full of responsibilities and appointments.”

– Jesse Itzler

So, I challenge you to try out the Fun, Joy, Play Index.  Consider this simply as a play experiment.  Be curious and see what comes up for you.  

There are seven FJP questions. Why seven? Because there are seven colors in the rainbow, seven Harry Potter Books, and seven days to have fun in a week.

If you need a guide on how to best answer these questions, you can see my personal answers below.  Enjoy the FJP journey!

Suggested Tips: 

  • The deeper you are willing to go with the answers, the more you will get out of the play exercise
  • You may feel compelled not to want to explore the fun, joy, play moments of 2020 when you may have dealt with tragedy and loss. This is precisely why the exercise is worth trying.  Embracing the complexity of 2020, both the joy and grief is vital to living in this complex world.  Celebrating the happy moments does not discount the sad ones and vice versa.  Both can exist and should be acknowledged.  Through this exercise, we are simply exploring the moments that we may have missed while mourning during the chaotic times of 2020.

FJP Questions

1. What moments bring you an immense amount of joy & fulfillment when you think about 2020?

2. When did you laugh the most and who were you with?

3. What day or moment made you smile the most?

4. What was your most awe-inspiring, surreal experience of this year? (If you can’t narrow it down to just one, go ahead and list more. Why limit yourself?)

5. What did you learn this year that blew your mind?

6. What adventures did you go on this year and what made them so much fun?

7. What FJP moments do you want to create in 2021 and who can help make them happen? 

Bonus Question: How do you feel now about your year after answering these questions?

If you are up for a fun challenge, take the answers you came up with for 2021 FJP Moments and reach out to the people who can help make these moments happen.

Anticipation is sometimes as much fun as the actual event.

I wish you all of the fun, joy and play that you deserve and more in 2021.

Jeff Harry’s FJP Moments

1. What moments bring you an immense amount of joy & fulfillment when you think about 2020?

On my birthday, which I share with my mom, being able to celebrate the life of my music teacher, Ms. Judy Kirby, by being able to sing to her at her retirement home.  Ms. Kirby passed away 3 days later and it was one of the most powerful moments in my life to be able to say goodbye to her.

Watching people celebrate in the streets when President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and seeing Kamala Harris, the first black woman Vice President take the stage, representing so many people that came before her.

Being surprised on my birthday by friends from all over the world via Zoom, as they all shared one thing they appreciated about me.  That many people that do not know each other connecting to wish me a great year does not happen except in this crazy year of 2020.

2. When did you laugh the most and who were you with?

I laughed with my nephew when we would make ridiculous videos during quarantine: Quarantine Rollercoaster, Duck Twerking, Experiencing Travel During Quarantine

3. What day or moment made you smile the most?

It’s a tie between the day I ran a workshop with my friend Lauren Yee and it went so well, that we savored the experience and the day I had a tipsy brainstorm with her where we thought of a bunch of awesome video ideas while having mimosas virtually.

4. What was your most awe-inspiring, surreal experience of this year? (If you can’t narrow it down to just one, go ahead and list more. Why limit yourself?)

Saying goodbye to my elementary school music teacher, Mrs. Kirby through song outside of her hospice room, singing with my sister, who were also taught by her, her sons, and my mom

Having a conversation with someone that has the opposite political values than me, and still being able to have a civilized and respectful conversation

5. What did you learn this year (about the world yourself) that blew your mind?

I am okay with being at home.  Even though I’m a full-fledged extrovert, as long as I can connect with people virtually, that can fulfill me to quite an extent.  I miss face to face human interaction, but also gain a ton of energy by not having to dress up or deal with the ego of going out.

6. What adventures did you go on this year and what made them so much fun?

I participated in over 100 podcast interviews in less than 9 months.  

Running workshops in two separate continents from the comfort of my own home.  

Montage of Jeff Harry as a young child in his basement having fun
“The Basement” (read the most embarrassing story to learn more!)

I shared the most embarrassing story of my teenage years to a virtual room of strangers from Toronto. 

Finding my work published in the NY Times, talking about my passion, getting adults to play more even now.

I moved my life and many of my belongings to pursue love.

7. What FJP moments do you want to create in 2021 and who can help make them happen? 

I want to reach out to some of my heroes and see if I can have discussions with them (I.e. Simon Sinek, Brene Brown, Jim Kwik) by asking to be on their podcasts.

Watching a sunrise and a sunset both on a beach and on a mountain.

I want to have the best meal of my life by savoring more of my meals in 2021.

To love unconditionally and have that reciprocated. 

Hugging my friends and family on multiple occasions when we finally all get vaccinated.

I want to hop on an airplane to see my friends and celebrate the pandemic being over.

I want to embrace the mentality of taking a risk a day by following my curiosity.

Bonus Question: How do you feel now about your year after answering these questions?

I feel more hopeful.  My feeling is there is a light at the end of this tunnel that is 2020.  I feel ready to leap again and trust in embracing the unknown.  

________________________________

If you are up for a fun challenge involving your friends, take the answers you came up with for 2021 FJP Moments and reach out to the people closest to you who can help make these moments a reality.

Whether we achieve all of these is not as important as striving for what they represent.  Hope, optimism, perseverance, and joy.  Sometimes, anticipation is sometimes as much fun as the actual event.

I wish you all of the most fulfilling, fun, joyful, play-oriented, epiphany-filled, life-affirming year of your life in 2021


About the Author

Profile photo of Jeff Harry
Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play

Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their happiest and most fulfilled — all by playing. He believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.  Giving people permission to be really silly helps them be more productive, learn faster, and love their work. If you enjoyed this play exercise, check out Jeff’s other play experiments to rediscover who you are at Rediscoveryourplay.com

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4 Comments

  1. Lisa p

    Fun! I can’t wait to tackle the questions!

    Reply
    • Stacey Newman Weldon

      Yay! Such a playful exercise and different way to do “resolutions” for sure!

      Reply
  2. Alana LaBel

    LOVE this! 🙂

    Reply
    • Stacey Newman Weldon

      incredible to look at things not just differently, but playfully – right?

      Reply

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